Title: The Quintessential Quintuplets Vol. 13
Author: Negi Haruba
Release Date: March 30, 2021
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
The Quintessential Quintuplets Vol. 13 is the penultimate volume of Negi Haruba’s romance series about five sisters who are tutored by a poor boy who happens to have met one of them as a kid. As the story nears the end, it’s finally time for the big choice.
The volume continues the final festival storyline. This time Miku’s, Yotsuba’s, and Itsuki’s sides are shown. As with previous times, the manga showed all of the girls’ perspectives; the events are all connected, making all kinds of connections better perceived by reading the whole arc together.
The 3-1 class was divided into two sides because of different interests: guys and girls. The first one has a takoyaki stand while the second one is making pancakes. Because the pancakes were her suggestion, Miku has become a sort of leader for the girls, but she wants the two sides to make amends so they can enjoy the festival with no regrets.
Her arc of the story is a great example of her evolution as a character. Being able to stand up for herself, show her resolve, and have some confidence are things that she wouldn’t be likely to do before.
On Yotsuba’s side, we finally see how the girl’s mentality led her to overwork herself. Despite her cheerful attitude, she tends to bottle her own feelings too much. Her tendency to try to be helpful and mindful of others in the end only hurts her even more.
It’s extra impressive how the author makes such an unhealthy situation in a way that intentionally dissonates from the visuals—bright panels, smiles, and a situation that’s pure dread behind a nice facade. Though there are moments that she can’t help but show her feelings, it is just like her own personality.
Then it moves on to Itsuki’s side, in which she continues to make an effort to become a teacher like her mother. This one is slightly bigger than the others for a good reason. She meets an important person from the girls’ past for the first time. This meeting is a big shock, and it makes her question her motivation.
It’s a solid dramatic piece that’s an important step to her growth. Though this encounter could have meant a little more for the other characters, the lesson is quick, simple, and a good way to consolidate her convictions.
After all that, we have a brief moment for the quints, and then comes the big twist that has been built up to in all those volumes. Futaro finally has to choose one of them, as the girls go to the school building after the festival and tell him their assigned rooms.
The Quintessential Quintuplets Vol. 13 builds upon the great character dynamics and development the series is known for. With the story nearing the climax, the girls have set goals for themselves, so Futaro finally decided. The next volume will have the finale, the consequences of his choice, and the last bits of character development, and I’m thrilled for it, even though my favorite girl has lost.
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